Late last week, a rumor slipped out that game developer Bethesda was working on a Game of Thrones game. The support for that rumor was pretty shaky, and now Target has quashed it altogether. While this rumor has been floating around for a little bit, the spark behind this latest go-round was the appearance of an apparent product page on Target’s website.
A Target spokesperson said in a statement, however, that “This is not a real product – we’re sorry for any confusion.”
That’s pretty firm and unambiguous.
The page, which we’d venture to guess was either inserted through a hack or by a Target employee, simply said “Bethesda: Game of Thrones.” If it were a real placeholder page, it would’ve likely had more detail. Companies the size of Target don’t usually throw title pages up without any further information like a product identification number and manufacturer info.
It’s a nice idea
I get why people glommed onto the idea, though, and there’s some precedent for it.
Bethesda boss Pete Hines has said that, in addition to its VR, Switch, and mobile projects, Bethesda is working on two projects with scope equal to that of Bethesda products like Fallout and Skyrim. So there’s room for something like this in there. And with Bethesda’s experience in making open-world fantasy games, the idea of the studio behind the eternally-popular Skyrim kicking open the doors to one of the most famous and loved fantasy worlds in recent memory is exciting. Who better than Bethesda to make Westeros into a place we can visit, explore, and make snow angels in?
And as I hinted at, this isn’t the first time that rumor has cropped up. A now-defunct 4chan posting (screencapped by a Redditor for posterity) from someone named “Salulard” suggested the possibility. In the same thread, Salulard “predicted” much of what we ended up seeing from Bethesda at E3 this last summer.
Much of what was predicted, though, was already strongly hinted at. Bethesda itself teased the new Wolfenstein it announced this year way back at E3 2016. Games like Skyrim VR and The Evil Within 2 aren’t big surprise predictions, either. They’re extensions of two existing franchises from the company. Skyrim VR is a no-brainer if Fallout 4 VR is in the works, and Evil Within studio Tango Gameworks had leaked its game via a job listing months earlier. On top of all that, Bethesda doesn’t have a penchant for working on licensed games; they haven’t touched anything outside of Fallout and Skyrim in well over a decade.
Bethesda working on a Game of Thrones game is an exciting idea, but it looks like it’s just not happening.